Tag Archives: lexicon

Cry the Belovèd Reader

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). Pass 3 of 3. Previous comment: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/https://ethicaldative.com/2022/05/01/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-2-of-3/ You. Be. Here. It’s an affirming imperative to exist, or be situate, in the speaker’s space-time. It’s addressed to “tilt” — twice “tender” now … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 2 of 3

Mandible Wishbone Solvent” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022). [Previously commented text: https://ethicaldative.com/2022/04/25/mandible-wishbone-solvent-pass-1-of-3/ ] what vaunted green excess enclosed in each skimmed year then the years / vanquished any fuchsia sky / the excess leaking forward filmed aqua / filled … Continue reading

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‘Mandible Wishbone Solvent’ — Pass 1 of 3

“Mandible Wishbone Solvent,” by Asiya Wadud (Poetry, March 2022) roped in incremental ghost tens / future tens clairvoyant tens home tens // blue slips beneath the exposed wing / tilt then seam then an angle spent all inside / the … Continue reading

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‘Smidgins’: Afterthought

A “smidgin” is an imprecise, tiny amount of something, a modest dollop. As a poem title, the jocular word is self-effacing but also coyly assertive, like a humble-brag. I got dirt under my nails the other day with Rae Armantrout’s … Continue reading

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How Poetry Feels About Itself

Rae Armantrout’s poem “Smidgins” fulfills an imperative of lyric, which is “Don’t be gassy.” Also another imperative, which is “Talk in riddles.” My crumpled, wrinkled / blurt / of flesh. // “Let’s face it,” / it says. * … Ravaged … Continue reading

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Nosegay of ‘Droit de Seigneur’

Consulting an Arabic dictionary involves looking up a word’s “root,” usually comprising three consonants. Words formed from the root are listed, with their translations, along with idioms in which the word occurs. What the root is may not be apparent … Continue reading

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Sparring With Blushes

“My English is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.” (Edward Gibbon) In the Middle Ages, several women poets of Arab Spain (al-Andalus) were known for their erotic and satiric verses composed with … Continue reading

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How Are Posh Men Educated?

…The vanities of posh men… centre on an ancient system that trains a narrow caste of people to run our affairs…. Ever questing to penetrate British lingo, I wobble over “public” versus “private” education in the kingdom’s parlance. In my … Continue reading

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Base Camp

They came in all sorts of camouflage, in animal pelts and flak jackets, in tactical gear and even a sphagnum-covered ghillie suit. When you leave the totems of your usual identity behind you free yourself from the laws that govern … Continue reading

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‘The Flag Is Also Waving You’

Someone who studies flags is a “vexillologist.” There’s a North American Vexillological Association for persons devoted to this study. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a flag was not so much a symbol as a practical way to tell from … Continue reading

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